RESIDENTS in Cornbrash Rise, Trowbridge, were among the hundreds in west Wiltshire who took to the street for the Clap for the NHS.

The event at 5pm on Sunday was held to mark the 72nd birthday of the National Health Service.

The Prince of Wales, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer all paid tribute to the NHS ahead of the nationwide round of applause.

People came out to clap as a way of saying thank you to NHS staff who have worked throughout the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative follows the success of the weekly Clap for Carers, which ended last month.

The clap began at the start of lockdown with people applauding from their doorsteps and windows every Thursday at 8pm to honour NHS staff, supermarket workers, teachers and other frontline employees who were instrumental in the fight against Covid-19.

Sunday's event finished on a high note with Babs Bennington on the saxophone and Lucy Lund on the tenor horn playing Somewhere Over the Rainbow and the Hovis tune.

Organisers hope the applause for the NHS will make July 5 an official day of annual commemoration.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson met NHS workers in the Number 10 garden on Sunday afternoon, while public buildings including the Royal Albert Hall, Blackpool Tower and the Shard in London were lit up blue in tribute to the NHS.

On Friday, Mr Johnson urged the public to clap for “those who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to help the nation get through this pandemic”.

The National Health Service was launched on July 5 1948, with the core principle that it is free at the point of delivery and is based on clinical need.

Prince Charles said: “The current pandemic means that the NHS – and the entire country – has been through the most testing time in the service’s history."

“Our remarkably selfless nurses, doctors, paramedics and countless other staff have made costly sacrifices to provide treatment for more than a hundred thousand patients with coronavirus and thousands more who needed other care.

“And, in tribute to them, we have come together as a nation to thank them for their skill, professionalism and dedication.”

Sir Keir said the NHS had a personal resonance as his late mother was a nurse and later relied on the NHS as she fell ill.

He said: “Many, many times she got gravely ill and it was the NHS that she turned to, and I remember as a boy, a teenager, being in high dependency units, in intensive care units, with my mum, watching nurses and other support staff keep my mum alive.

“They did that on more than one occasion – it’s etched in my memory. For them, it was just the day job. They were doing that every day.

“So, it’s very personal for me and I’m very grateful to the NHS and my mum was very grateful, she loved the NHS through the many decades that she absolutely depended on them.”

On Sunday, people observed a minute’s silent and lit candles in remembrance of those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic.